Chapter published in:Language, Culture and Identity – Signs of Life
Edited by Vera da Silva Sinha, Ana Moreno-Núñez and Zhen Tian
[Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts 13] 2020
► pp. 295–316
A study of Chinese non-basic color terms from the perspective of cognitive semantics
This paper makes a study from the perspective of cognitive semantics of Chinese non-basic color terms, the subcategories of color terms, on their representation, cognitive motivation and cultural connotation. It is found that there are four major representation forms of non-basic color terms in Chinese: object color terms, proper noun color terms, color terms denoting degree, color terms denoting mixed color. The major cognitive motivations are metaphor, metonymy and conceptual integration. The use of cultural-specific terms to capture fine distinctions of color reveals from one aspect how the Chinese subcategorize color concept and construe color experience as meaning as well as the close relationship between linguistic categories, cognitive capacity and ethnic traditions.
Keywords: non-basic color terms, categorization, transcategorization, representation forms, cognitive motivation
Published online: 30 April 2020
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